HIV/AIDS Initiative


Education and Prevention
Both individual behaviors and community attitudes must change if HIV is to be prevented. Africare's HIV/AIDS Initiative promotes prevention through basic HIV/AIDS information and counseling; education on topics such as gender inequity, cross-generational and transactional sex, life skills, and stigma reduction; and techniques ranging from peer education to creative uses of drama. Examples of projects include:

  • In Zimbabwe, Africare is supporting AIDS Action Clubs, wherein students and teachers are trained as peer educators and organize after-school groups for youth that share information.
  • In Cote d'Ivoire and Benin, a major Africare program is employing HIV/AIDS education to reduce the rate of transmission of the virus among mobile populations such as truckers, shippers, and dock workers.
  • In all of its field offices in Africa, Africare is establishing HIV/AIDS-awareness programs for its staff and their families.

Care & Support
HIV/AIDS not only robs the health and livelihood of those infected, it also robs the health and livelihood of their families and communities. Africare is committed to supporting and strengthening the ability of communities to mitigate the impact of the epidemic and to serve those most in need. Africare recognizes that particular emphasis needs to be placed on rural areas, where services are almost non-existent and human and material resources are scarce. Examples of projects include:

  • In Nigeria's Rivers State, Africare is helping AIDS orphans by working with their home-based caretakers to ensure healthy, supportive environments — with a special emphasis on education, nutrition, and health care for young people.
  • In Rwanda's Ginkongoro district, Africare is supporting home-based care for people now living with AIDS. Basic health and nutritional needs are of primary concern.

Capacity Building
All Africare HIV/AIDS Initiative programs help to build the capacities of indigenous organizations and government systems to develop and implement HIV/AIDS initiatives. Enhancing the projects' sustainability are partnerships formed between Africare and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations (CBOs), and government departments. In the context of those partnerships, Africare provides technical support, builds planning and management capabilities, and increases in-country access to the resources needed to carry out the work. Capacity-building projects include the following:

  • In Benin, Africare works with Ministry of Health staff to develop HIV/AIDS prevention policies and strengthen relationships with local NGOs involved in HIV/AIDS work.
  • In Malawi, South Africa, and Zambia, Africare is providing technical assistance to community-based initiatives — most of which are youth-directed — to improve adolescent reproductive health.